The first email arrived early Saturday morning. By 7 PM Sunday evening, I had received numerous emails (and even a couple of phone calls) alerting me that Jeff Bezos was being featured on 60 Minutes.
This was not too surprising, as many people who know me are aware that I am interested in everything Amazon and that I do not watch TV. So my wife taped 60 Minutes for me, and at 10 PM I sat down to watch Bezos. As usual, he did not disappoint.
The last portion of the interview was a surprise for 60 Minutes anchor Charlie Rose and for the viewers. Bezos announced Amazon Prime Air— “delivery drones” that can deliver packages weighing 5 pounds or less directly to customers within 30 minutes of being ordered. That’s way faster than Dominos these days.
Within a half hour of the Amazon segment on 60 Minutes, I had editors contacting me to get my opinion of Jeff’s performance. As I write this, it is now Monday and the airwaves are exploding with buzz about Amazon Prime Air: LA Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, etc. And on YouTube, in less than 12 hours after the Amazon Prime Air video debuted, the video received over 2 million views!
Wow. Futuristic delivery drones, what a stroke of genius by Bezos. No, No, No–the stroke of genius is actually not about delivery by drones. This is very cool, very interesting and potentially a game changer in a few years, but delivery drones are not what makes this such a genius move by Bezos.
The genius of Bezos lies in him and what he did, on the eve of what has traditionally been the busiest day for Internet shopping (Cyber Monday), presenting to the world his message that:
- Amazon is cool
- Jeff Bezos is an engaging guy
- Amazon has leading technology
- Amazon Prime is the best deal in town
- Amazon is the real deal
- Amazon is about the customer
- Amazon is about speed
- Amazon is about buying everything, for everybody, everywhere
The real genius is in the public relations value and its timing. He nailed it. Everyone is talking about Amazon today, the busiest day of the online shopping year. By the end of Cyber Monday (today), the National Retail Federation estimates that 131 million Americans will have shopped online on this day alone.
Jeff Bezos, with his performance on 60 Minutes last night, deserves an Emmy Award for best TV performance in the areas of content, surprise, timing and viral success. Once again, I tip my hat to the genius of Jeff Bezos: Brilliant!
P.S. I just read that analytics firm ComScore Inc. estimates that online sales rose 17.3% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, outpacing brick-and-mortar store sales. And surprise, look who’s on top – the most visited sites in order were Amazon.com, e-Bay, Walmart, Best Buy and Target.
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